Objectives To review information on cardiovascular health and migration, to stress the attention of researchers that much needs to be done in the collection of sound data in Italy and to allow policy-makers to identify this issue as an important public health concern. Background In Italy, the rate of immigrants in the total number of residents increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 7.4% in 2010, and currently exceeds 10% in regions such as Lombardia, Emilia Romagna and Toscana. Methods A consensus statement was developed by approaching relevant Italian national scientific societies involved in cardiovascular prevention. Task force members were identified by the president and/or the boards of each relevant scientific society or working group, as appropriate. To obtain a widespread consensus, drafts were merged and distributed to the scientific societies for local evaluation and revision by as many experts as possible. The ensuing final draft was finally approved by scientific societies. Results In several western European countries, the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome was found to be higher among immigrants than in the native population. Although migrants are often initially healthier than nonmigrant populations in their host countries, genetic factors, and changing environments with lifestyle changes, social exclusion and insufficient medical control may expose them to health challenges. Cultural reasons may also hamper both the dissemination of prevention strategies and migrant communication with healthcare providers. However, great diversity exists across and within different groups of migrants, making generalizations very difficult and many countries do not collect registry or survey data for migrant’s health. Conclusions In the present economic context, the European Union is placing great attention to improve data collection for migrant health and to support the implementation of specific prevention policies aimed at limiting the future burden of cardiovascular and renal disease, and the consequent load for health systems. Wider initiatives on the topic are awaited in Italy.
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